Showing posts with label Greenwich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greenwich. Show all posts

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Painted Hall: Greenwich

Greenwich Painted Hall

You spend 19 years painting the dining room but it turns out "to be far too grand for everyday use". Instead of saving it for best, for naval veterans to sit down to their fish supper, it is decided that the dining hall should be opened up to the public. Only to "respectable visitors", at a cost of 3d each. That's about £1.80 in new money.

At least James Thornhill then got to have his hard work seen by more people, the "respectable" public. And however awe inspiring this hall is, imagine eating every meal here, you might stop noticing things. Such as...

...the ceilings  

...the animals

...the cherubs

...St Paul's

...the stonework

...and the textiles

Ceilings can be tricky to look at, so mirrors are provided so you can look down rather than up.

Time has taken it's toll on these paintings in the Painted Hall and they are in the process of being restored. And this costs money. You can often be asked to donate to conservation work. But hats off to the Old Royal Naval College for making it easy, fun and for making it very clear where your money goes.

To put this into perspective, James Thornhill received £3 per square yard for painting the ceiling and £1 for the walls. Times have changed.

Visitors have painted the ceiling by numbers. Wish I'd done that.

I adopted a face. 'Providence'. Who doesn't love a museum badge?
She was in the paintings somewhere.

Fundraising is not a new to the Painted Hall. It was all very (questionably) transparent back then. Not only did those 'respectable' people get to see who had donated, but also how much they had given. Best not to out-do King William. No-one even came close.

Over 300 years later, the Painted Hall in the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich is still open to the public. Prices have changed, from 3d to free admission. Details on the Old Royal Naval College website here.

As for everyday use, meals are still not served to 'respectable vistors', not even birthday lunches. Happy Birthday Nicola.
Just so you know, we didn't starve, we had lunch in the University of Greenwich cafe very close by.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

The Great Map

That time of the year, between Christmas and new year,
when you have family over and far too many kids in the house,
weather permitting, you all head out for a walk.

To Greenwich Park,
then too my surprise (and delight) they suggest heading into the National Maritime Museum
at the bottom of the hill just to the left in the picture.

The teenagers go off by themselves,
so I suggest taking my eight year old nephew to see The Great Map.

provides a space to explore the museum's collections from all around the world
using touch screen tablets.

The museum provides them for free, so when there was one available
my nephew named his ship.
Introducing the 'Puffle-Treader',
Club Penguin meets C.S. Lewis.

We went off exploring the world.
I have to say that I didn't quite work out what was happening, he was to fast,
using it was second nature to him.

Without one of the National Maritime Museum's tablets
you can still interact with The Great Map.
On (paper) cards the museum suggests five games you can play,
one being a version of  'Hunt the Thimble',
getting 'warmer' or 'colder' as you hunt for a point on the map
chosen by a member of your party.

I chose the game suggested using your smart phone,
taking photos of places around the world for my nephew to find.

After all that digital exploring,
we took a moment to consider the world and all the possibilities of travel.

Terrestrial and celestial globes, not always accurate.

For more accuracy, these mathematical instruments measure angles, of the sun and stars,
and along with knowing the time,
they help you pinpoint exactly where you are on the earth.
Early GPS, using the sun and stars instead of satellites. 

With a promise of a hot chocolate in the park cafe,
we lure the teenagers back up the hill to where the cars are parked.

In the cafe, courtesy of my phone, I continue The Great Map game.
Identify these places?
With the magic of modern technology, you get to play the game too.

Italy & Sicily
Labrador Sea in the North Atlantic between Canada and Greenland.
Egypt, Sinai Peninsula.
Lake Victoria

How did you do?

Entry to the National Maritime Museum and using The Great Map tablets are free.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Seduced at The fan Museum

is the exhibition currently showing at
The Fan Museum, Greenwich.

These fans date from 'La Belle Epoque',
'The Beautiful Era'.
'Dating from the late Victorian to the Edwardian era' (in England).
which doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

We'll stick with, 'La Belle Epoque',
when advertising fans came into their own
with the "birth of modern consumer culture".

Fans became bill-boards for advertising.

Some were a bit like the classifieds in the back pages of the newspapers.

Others produced by commercial artists,
designed to make the most of the shape of the fan.

There are fans created for luxury brands.

Champagne anyone?

Fans serving as theatre programmes.

This fan was designed by Francisque Poulbot,
who lived and sketched life in Monmartre, Paris.

Some adverts are not so subtle.

This is the kind of fan I would have loved playing with as a kid.
There's something magical about opening that 'fanning out' tissue-paper thing.

It wouldn't have lasted very long in my hands.
But I don't suppose any of these fans were designed in perpetuity.

But they have been kept, in perfect condition, some for 100 years
to be admired by the ad-weary public of the 21st century.
To remind us of times gone by.

Their power is not so much now in the advertising,
but in their beauty,
and the sense of nostalgia.

"Now, I just fancy a glass of champagne!"

Seduced? At the Fan Museum?

Seduced! Fans and the Art of Advertising
is on at The fan Museum in Greenwich
until 28th Sept 2014.
Details on their website.

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